The NBA acknowledged Wednesday that a goaltending call should have been made against Golden State Warriors center Jermaine O’Neal on a blocked shot against Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis on Tuesday night.
O’Neal’s block in the final seconds denied the Mavericks the chance to take the lead near the end of overtime. Warriors guard Stephen Curry then hit a shot to give the Golden State a 122-120 victory.
“Upon review at the league office, we have found that a shot taken by Dallas’ Monta Ellis with 16.0 seconds remaining in overtime was on the way down when initially contacted and ruled a block by Golden State’s Jermaine O’Neal, and should have been ruled a goaltend,” NBA vice president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said Wednesday. “The exact trajectory of the ball when touched was impossible to ascertain with the naked eye, and the play was not reviewable.”
The loss could end up hurting the Mavericks’ playoff chances. They currently stand in ninth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns. A win would have elevated Dallas to the seventh spot.
The league’s admission comes a day after it said officials erred at the end of Monday night’s Grizzlies-Denver Nuggets game when an air-ball free throw was not called. The mistake denied the Nuggets a chance for a final possession in their loss to the Grizzlies.
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